Licensed School Nurse Role in Special Education

School nurses must be knowledgeable about the special education process because federal and state legal mandates must be followed for students who are in special education or are being evaluated for special education. Students who are disabled are protected under the law and have rights, privileges, and protections that are meant to afford them equal opportunity under the law:

Federal Special Education Regulations

Minnesota Special Education Regulations

Definition of Special Education

Special Education means any specially designed instruction and related services to meet the unique cognitive, academic, communicative, social and emotional, motor ability, vocational sensory, physical, or behavioral and functional needs of a pupil as stated in the Individual Education Program (IEP) plan (Minn.Rule3525.0210, Subp. 42 retrieved January 5, 2011, from http://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/)

The Role of the Licensed School Nurse in the Special Education Process

The Role of the Licensed School Nurse in the Special Education Process was developed by the Special Education committee of the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota.

  • Participates as a member of the special education team
  • Completes, as needed, an assessment of student's health and physical status including all essential components as listed in the Licensed School Nurse Assessment of Health/Physical Status
  • Interprets medical and health information that impact the student in their educational environment
  • Assists in completing the evaluation report
  • Assists in determining special education eligibility
  • Assists in developing the individualized education program (IEP) plan
  • Determines if the student needs nursing service as a related service on the IEP
  • Documents a statement of the nursing services provided to the student, when the service will begin, how often it will be provided and for what amount of time, and where it till be provided.
  • Develops Individual Health Plan, Emergency Care Plan and evacuation plan when needed
  • Seeks reimbursement for health related services on an IEP

Evaluation procedures and IEP procedures that require a nurse have to be completed by a licensed school nurse or cerified public health nurse.  Supporting statement from MDE April, 2003.


Minnesota Department of Education Q & A: Related Service - This requires a login
20 U.S.C. Chapter 23 Regulation
34C.F.R.300 Regulation
Minnesota Statute 125A Regulation
Minnesota Rule 3525 Regulation
Definition of Special Education


  • 2015 School Nurse of the Year

    Julia Bennett MA,BAN, RN, LSN named School Nurse of the YearJulia B

    The School Nurse Organization of Minnesota is pleased to announce the 2015 School Nurse of the Year. This honor recognizes one licensed school nurse annually who emulates the profession of school nursing. Nominated by her peers, Julia Bennett is most worthy of this honor, as evidenced by her outstanding school nursing practice.

    Julia has been committed to the students in the Minneapolis Public School (MPS) district for the past 23 years providing service and support to students pre-kindergarten through grade 12. After several years serving as the school nurse consultant for 10 alternative schools, and the high school resource nurse, she has transitioned this year to being an orientation coach for new Minneapolis nurses in addition to being the long time school nurse for Pratt elementary school.